In exchange for donations, I have been painting people’s “selfies.”
It was the perfect way to unify two major projects in my life- art and fundraising. “Selfies” are an interesting phenomenon.They have become so monumental in the way people project themselves through social media. People like to have photos of themselves, so they would appreciate a painted version of an image they created, right?
Besides being exciting to potential donors, the “selfies” project is really engaging for me. I anticipated pictures created with an extreme sense of control, images carefully crafted to convey a particular look, material objects to portray a particular style, faces held at angles and washed with filters to hide physical attributes deemed unattractive by pop culture.I chose to paint “selfies” as a social commentary on body image in relationship to popular media and social networking. I liked taking control of something so meticulously curated, and creating an image unlike anything the original photographer could have anticipated.
What I found was a real push against my “selfie” movement. What people wanted embodied in paint were not images of themselves, but pictures of loved ones.
Even when submitting photos in the spirit of the “selfie,” most everyone sent it with humor, embedded in sarcasm- they were funny.
It has been a lot of fun painting these portraits. But behind this lighthearted project, let’s not forget the very serious cause. These proceeds are going to building homes. Programs like the one I am so fortunate to be a part of exist because there is a large population going without basic human needs.Thank you for working with me to keep the conversation alive and continue to resistance against housing inequality.